By Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam
(Translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam)
“Wait and exhibit your art of delicate negotiations till the end; all this while, control your statements and language in this hour of crisis and do not forget whoever creates hurdles so that you can do a deal with him when required.” These are some basic principles which President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Reza Gilani have kept following and in consequence, have almost completed their terms in office. Gilani has acquired an almost historical status due to the President’s endeavour. No democratic government, in Pakistan, would have ever even dreamt of bringing ISI to a cipher. But this government has done this unthinkable with great ease. ISI’s ex-Chief has retired. And the present incumbent is thankful to the Prime Minister for considering his name for this coveted post. Judiciary is worried and doesn’t know how to rein in the President and the PM. None of these two personalities is proving a soft nut to crack. Army Chief is well aware of the fate of his successor and he knows ‘silence’ has been very useful for him.
The mass media are passing their time in exhaustion and embarrassment as the “change” they had been made to dream of is nowhere in sight. There is a new change, however. And that is that the forces organising successful congregations under the banners of ‘Defa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan)’ and ‘Defa-e Islam (Defence of Islam)’ are busy trying their best to attract the attention of powers-that-be at Islamabad. Maulana Fazal-ur- Rahman, Hafiz Sayeed and Munawwar Husan are competing with each other in a show of force with all their might. On the basis of preliminary results it is clear that Hafiz Sayeed has defeated Munawwar Hasan very easily and that Maulana Fazal ur Rahman is a hard nut to crack. Munawwar Hasan has come out as the last symbol of the fall of Jamaat-e-Islami for not being as dynamic as his predecessor Quazi Husain Ahmad.
Some people think that in the name of defence of Islam, Defence of Pakistan Council, Maulana Fazal ur Rahman and Mr. Imran Khan of Tehreek e Insaaf have got the backing of Pakistan’s conventional secret agencies so that the dream of a ‘alternative’ leadership’ could be translated into reality. On the other hand the ruling party at the centre, PPP, and the party in power in the largest state of Pakistan, Punjab, Muslim League, are busy making their organisations strong to fight the elections at hand. This has made the ‘concept of alternative leadership’ weak as far as electoral politics is concerned. Imran Khan’s Tahreek-e-Insaaf will have to taste defeat in its campaign. As far as Mullahs are concerned they have no electoral power at all except in some particular tiny pockets. Jamaat-ud-Dawa the guiding light of Defence of Pakistan Council, in any case, takes democracy as a form of ‘Kufr’ (Denial of and deviation from Islam). And Hafiz Saeed Saheb cannot even think of taking part in any electoral process unless he takes his own Fatwa against democracy back.
We will have to appreciate the sixth sense of an intuitive comrade of Tahreek-e-Insaaf, renowned author Haroon Rashid, who has sensed “danger” and has started saying that democracy and democratic governments of Pakistan have not done anything for the country. All the progress of Pakistan and the Pakistanis are thanks to its dictators. This can give us an idea of which political forces in Pakistan are ready to grab power once again.
In the given situation it is very clear that if elections are held “alternative governments” are not going to gain anything and the country may have to face another kind of anarchy. Imran Khan has already declared that his party can be defeated only by corruption in electoral process and that in such a situation he will turn his now famous ‘tsunami’ towards Islamabad. Defence of Pakistan Council does not seem to be expecting any kind of gain in these elections. Maulana Fazal-ur-Rahman can easily win the number of seats on the basis of which he will be able to make his deal. MQM also is in the same situation. It does not have any powerful rival to compete with and its armed party is ready to take the challenge of every kind for electoral success.
Successive killings in Karachi points to how weak is the security apparatus and how powerful are political parties confronting each other in the business capital of Pakistan. Killings and crimes of every description are increasing with every passing day in Karachi. MQM Chief Altaf Husain is threatening and the leadership of ANP is strictly sticking to its stand. The number of casualties is growing in Karachi. A common perception is that the political parties there are engaged in a war of political superiority hence murder of each other’s activists is routine.
Intriguingly, for some reason, an immensely important statement by the Home Minister’s statement has failed to attract any attention. He has pointed repeatedly to the involvement in mayhem at Karachi of the religious groups, terror groups associated with Al Qaeda, various wings of Tehreek-e-Taliban and the younger generation of rapidly arming Sunni Tehreek. Home Minister has fallen prey to his own confusion and self-contradictions and so nobody now pays any attention to his statements. As a result this extremely important revelation too has been consigned to the rubbish bin. Now it is an accepted fact that Karachi is the hub of every kind of terror outfit. Karachi does not only organise shelter for them but provides commercial gains as well.
The author of nine books including the recent "Punjabi Taliban", Brussels-based Pakistani investigative journalist, Mujahid Hussain writes a regular column for New Age Islam. He has been contributing to leading papers as an investigative journalist for about two decades. His writings cover a vast panorama of topics concerning political and societal existence of Pakistan, a nation passing through difficult straits since a short time after its birth. With terrorism and security issues at local, regional, and global levels as his special area of study in recent years, Mujahid Hussain has earned a sizable readership in serious circles in Pakistan and abroad. Follower of an independent, non-partisan, and objective way of thinking, the author offers honest analysis of the challenges threatening communities, nations, and humanity at large.